Eight Signs of A Bad Personal Trainer

Fitness, Lifestyle,

Eight Signs of A Bad Personal Trainer

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Are you looking for a new personal trainer, or you’re simply unhappy with your existing one, here are eight signs of a bad personal trainer.

A good personal trainer can work wonders for your workouts. He can teach you, motivate you and generally make sure that you get the most out of your time in the gym.

Unfortunately, not all personal trainers are good personal trainers. And if you find yourself working with a bad one, you can easily find your workouts suffering, not benefiting.

Rather than making you want to work harder, some personal trainers can make you want to quit the gym altogether. And what’s worse, you’re left paying for the privilege.

If you’re currently on the lookout for a new personal trainer, or you’re simply unhappy with your existing one, here are eight signs of a bad personal trainer.


A personal trainer doesn’t need to have model looks but he should be in excellent shape. If he can’t motivate himself to work out properly, how is he going to motivate you?

It’s also worth noting that the best personal trainers are those who are genuinely passionate about personal fitness. And passion shows in their appearance.

Poor Social Skills

Personal training is a social job. There’s no getting around this fact. Unfortunately however, not all personal trainers have the necessary social skills. And there’s no amount of fitness knowledge that can make up for this.

Your personal trainer doesn’t need to be your friend but talking to him shouldn’t be torture either. Basically, you want somebody that you can get along with, somebody who will make your workouts easier not harder.

Easily Distracted

Make no mistake, when you hire a personal trainer to spot you, their time is your time. It’s what you are paying them for. Constantly taking phone calls, chatting to other people and/or taking frequent breaks is simply not acceptable.

If your personal trainer isn’t watching you while you work out, how is he going to correct you when you make a mistake?

Working Out With Clients

Another sign that you’re working out with the wrong trainer is if he’s working out during your sessions. How is he supposed to work out and teach you at the same time? You are literally paying for his workout session.

Unless he’s jogging with you or showing you how to do something, there’s no reason for a personal trainer to ever be working out during one of your sessions.

 Eight Signs of A Bad Personal Trainer

Different Clients, Identical Routines

A good personal trainer will tailor a workout to your specific needs and body type. That’s one of the primary benefits of hiring a personal trainer rather than simply reading a book.

If you spot a personal trainer putting multiple clients through the same routines, chances are he should be avoided. Identical routines serve no other purpose than to make a personal trainers job easier at the expense of his clients.

Cancelled Appointments

Another sign that a personal trainer should be avoided is if he is constantly showing up late. When you arrive at the gym, he should be there waiting for you. And if a time has been agreed on in advance, there’s no excuse for him to not show up.

Your time is valuable. And even if it’s not, it should be respected by somebody who is being paid to help you. Constant cancellations are a sign that your personal trainer doesn’t take you, or his job, seriously enough.
Doesn’t Listen to You

Never underestimate the importance of having a personal trainer that actually listens to you. Most trainers like to talk but some seem to have trouble listening. And the result is clients doing exercises that they don’t enjoy, or worse, that are hurting them.

Your workout is just that, yours. If your personal trainer doesn’t respect this fact, what are you paying him for? If your preferences/objections are not being taken seriously, it’s time to find someone else.

No Progress

Finally, there’s the small matter of progress, if you’re not making any, you’re with the wrong personal trainer. It’s your personal trainers job to ensure that you are progressing at the gym. If you’re not progressing, he’s either not teaching you properly or failing to adequately motivate you. Either way, he’s failing you.

While there are exceptions to this rule (some clients simply won’t put in the work), if you genuinely feel that you’re trying your hardest and you’re still not getting anywhere, chances are the problem is not with you, but with your trainer.


This is a guest post from Chris Rodman, A fitness trainer by profession, who owns Fargo gym. He feels that most people fall into the trap of an uncertified trainer.


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